The art of glass beads
Glass Lamp Workshop in Cannaregio, Venice
tre generassion [three generations]
Ancient know-how and craftsmanship of glass art beads is today part of UNESCO heritage.
It is a special recognition that safeguards an ancient Venetian art fundamental to maintaining and preserving this intangible heritage culture. The precious craft stands these long-lasting artefacts based on the wealth of knowledge passed from father to son, from a generation to the next one.
Passed Down by Word of Mouth
UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity - 2020
The art of glass beads. © Andrea Rizzo, 2019
Extract Antonella and her mother Luciana.
Duration: 00:09:59 - Support: Blu-ray (0159100004)
"They spun before me, as time spins our fragile life, a thin rope of glass:
it was glass with the Venetian handcraft bead was made"
COLOURS AND FIRE
Venetian glass beads with their historic art and profound beauty which makes precious and desired on every continent reborn in Venice in the 13th century with the creation of a pierced cane.
Established family run business based in Venice
However, the factors that favoured the inclusion among the "intangible assets" of Unesco are the social and cultural implications: "The Art of Glass Beads is a cultural heritage transmitted from generation to generation, it is a living heritage that communities, in response to the environment and the interaction with nature and history, they continually recreate ", says President Bedin, adding that the ancient practice is" an example of how ingenuity leads to finding innovative solutions, promotes respect for cultural diversity, human creativity and encourages ongoing development through the reuse of many materials including flawed pearls, ancient beads, fragments of glass reeds".
Therefore, the recognition is precious for the protection of art of both the Venetian and French committees.
On the 17th December 2020, the "Art of Glass Pearls" is part of Unesco — Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
A tenacious group teamed by Cristina Bedin, Marisa Convento and Claudia Cottica within the French glass pearls' community made it possible to be select between the "living heritage".
Why are glass beads so important? Venetian production dates back to the fourteenth century. These small objects became a precious commodity to trade to Africa, the Americas and India. There are so many othr side to consider: the processing, the Committee underlines, is closely linked to the wealth of knowledge and the mastery of the material - Murano glass - and of an element, fire: perhaps for this reason, and for the light they give off, pearls seem to contain almost magical power. The Art of Glass Pearls would not be possible without shared knowledge and techniques, without tools and procedures that allow you to create various types of artefacts, such as the tiny "conterie" obtained from thin perforated glass canes and often used for sumptuous embroidery; they are now a rarity, as they are no longer produced. Those "by lamp", documented since the seventeenth century, were obtained by wrapping molten glass on a metal stick, creating infinite variations of effects and colour. Finally, the "cane" beads, obtained by cutting and grinding perforated glass canes; murrine also belong to this category.